Her turn as showstopper is exactly why she is Lakme Fashion Week royalty.
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com
FULL COVERAGE: Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2018
Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen turned showstopper for poet-filmmaker Muzaffar Ali (Umrao Jaan) and his producer wife Meera Ali's label Kotwara at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Spring 2018.
The collection titled 'Samanzar: A Garden of Flowers' blended the old with the new under the guidance of Sama Ali, the couple's daughter. It was a luxurious line of traditional formal wear, in a collage of textiles and crafts that had timeless appeal.
Sushmita Sen closed the show in a glittering lehenga-choli and diaphanous dual dupattas and left everyone wanting more.
Sushmita Sen entered the ramp to the strains of the classic In Aankhon Ki Masti Ke from Muzaffar Ali's celebrated film Umrao Jaan.
She later revealed that she had seen the film when she was six and the track for her walk down the runway was changed last minute on her request.
Sen also insisted that they play the original and not a remixed version and could not resist showing off a move or two.
Kotwara celebrates the craft of Awadh -- a culture that has long enamoured Sen.
Asked what she loved about it, she mentioned the language of the region and the fact that it's filled with tehzeeb, tameez and adab... I love the fact that you can say what you want, but you say it with grace.'
Sen added that she loved the fact that instead of the razmatazz, she was wearing 'what celebrates empowering people.'
Sen noted, 'Sama beautifully stated that for them fashion is not a fad, it's a responsibility. And the fact that they do it to empower other people, especially from Kotwara... and to bring back the artistry that has been lost for centuries is powerful.'
Samanzar by Kotwara: The collection
Sama Ali, daughter of Meera and Muzaffar Ali who helmed the collection, presented Chikankari in a unique manner -- with the addition of zardosi, aari and muqquaish.
The clothing line, a statement said, 'presents a range of exotic occasion wear textured with softly coloured pearls and sequins on arabesque forms.'
The designers worked with fine muslin, sheer chiffons that blended with velvet and brocade.
The classic Kotwara style was seen in everything from the flowing capes and shrugs to the shararas and saris.
The show opened with a line of pristine white creations before moving to blacks. The label also played with rose and gold.
(From left) Sama Ali, Meera Ali, Sushmita Sen and Muzaffar Ali.